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Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students

Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students

Spain is located in Southwestern Europe and is often referred to as a study paradise. It is one of the most coveted country to which applications are made to by international students who are interested in studying abroad in Spain. There is the availability of high quality education, wonderful cultures, affordability of things in many of its cities, good weather and peaceful environment with great outdoors. The Spanish cosines is also impeccable and there a lot of award-winning restaurants in the country which have successfully taken the country’s interesting food culture to international levels.

Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students
Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students

The marvellous beaches are also part of what makes Spain an interesting destination for study abroad in the country. Students and Tourists go done to the beach to relax and enjoy the sun after exhausting days at school, and meet up with friends and families. In Spain you will find people from different countries all over the world, from different backgrounds, with cultures, traditions, customs and styles. All these makes the country loveable and be recognised as an attraction to international students who want to study abroad in Spain and expand their horizon.

This article makes provision of details which revolve around all you need to know about Spain, its educational institutions and opportunities revolving around them. 


– About Studying in Spain

– Why Study in Spain

– Spain Educational System Compared to Other Countries

– Top Institutions in Spain 

– Scholarships/Financial Aids/Bursaries

– Student Visa Processing/Procedures

– Post Study Opportunities

Why Study in Spain? 

It is undisputable that Spain has upheld quality education through its educational institutions. Education in Spain has been in existence for a long time based on history and quite a number of international students have been enrolled in the institutions of Spain. There are about 200,000 international students enrolled in the higher education institutions in Spain. Surprisingly, the universities have recorded a high number of female international students.

One of Spain’s oldest and most reputable universities, The University of Salamanca which is one of the country’s oldest institution, was founded in 1218 and till date has been an attraction to international students interested in studying abroad in Spain. Also, there are affordable places for students to stay, depending on the city.  Some of the country’s cheap and affordable cities are; Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca, Granda, Alicante, Seville, and Salamanca.

The likes of Madrid, Zaragoza, Barcelona and Mallorca are however expensive but comfortable for interested students. There are certainly great restaurants, shopping centers, pubs, art galleries and other places of entertainment.  In addition, the tuition fee for educational institutions in Spain actually vary depending on your plan and whether you intend to study in a public institution or private institution.

Major Spanish cities typically have lower prices than capitals in nearby European nations. Consider studying abroad in the charming city of Bilbao or in Granada, which has views of the a medieval Moorish palace. Also, many clubs offer free entry, with an average monthly rent of 400 euros. You can also buy a coffee for $1.20 to $1.40 or a lunch and beer for about $12. While studying in Spain, you won’t get bankrupt!

Studying in Spain will also afford you the opportunity to improve your proficiency or learn Spanish. You can take advantage of the chance to study Spanish while you are there. Spanish is the second most spoken and prominent language in the world. Spain is the ideal location to fully  get immersed in the language, culture, and courses offered, whether you are a beginner or you want to  become proficient.

In Spain, you will have the chance to practice wherever you go while you improve your fluency. While studying in Spain, acquire some Catalan, Galician, or other regional Spanish in addition to Castilian Spanish to expand your knowledge of translation in various geographic and cultural contexts. Particularly, CEU Universities have almost 40 years of postgraduate education experience. Additionally, the academic program provided in Spain is designed to help students succeed in a global society by offering enriching experiences that are particularly focused on applying what has been learned.

Take images of the stunning Spanish architecture if you want to liven up your social media page while studying there! One of Spain’s numerous cathedrals, fortresses, basilicas, mosques, or other structures is sure to capture your attention. Don’t miss taking some pictures of the Church of Palma de Mallorca, a stunning 14th-century gothic cathedral with a tower that holds nine bells, if you’re considering studying abroad in Mallorca. Or, if you’re interested in studying abroad in Spain and are passionate about architecture, consider Barcelona! To name only a few wonders worth seeing, there is the Arc de Triomf, the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, and the fountains at Montjuic.

Educational System In Spain

Spain’s higher education system is famous for its top-notch quality and growth chances. Spain now has 76 universities, of which 31 are private and 45 are state-funded public institutions. Universities are organized into faculties, which are further separated into various departments, at both public and private institutions. A wide variety of academic options are available for students to choose from.

Spain’s universities grant both recognized and unofficial degrees. The Bologna system, which uses a three-cycle structure for formal degrees and is recognized throughout Europe, is used in Spain’s higher education system. You can get bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from universities that follow the ECTS credit transfer system in a number of different subject areas.

Spain Educational System Compared to Other Countries

The educational system of the country Spain is properly organized and is a popular choice for international studies, with numerous programs and courses to choose from. The country is known to have prestigious universities with a lot advantages for studying abroad in Spain. There is the compulsory requirement of persons 4 to 16 years to go to school.  Comparing Spain to the United States, school day starts and ends later in Spain than in the United States. 

Majority of the courses made available at Spanish Universities are taught in Spanish and based on this, majority of these universities also require students interested in studying abroad in Spain to have an advanced knowledge of Spanish.  However, there are different courses and programs that are being taught in English and Spanish, this is to avoid language barriers when it comes to studies and understanding the curriculum for international students studying abroad in Spain. Thus, for international students that do not come from English speaking countries and wish to enrol for English-speaking courses and programs, they are expected to offer either TOEFL or IELTS. In addition, compared to other European countries, the tuition fees and cost of living in Spain are quite affordable. 

Spain has both public and private universities. In Spain, tuition is the primary distinction between public and private colleges. In Spain, the cost of attending public colleges is regulated by the government; in contrast, private institutions often determine their own tuition rates, which are typically higher than the former because they get no government financing. Public universities give a greater range of study subjects than private colleges, which mostly provide degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, legal sciences, and economics.

Public universities in Spain make available official degrees (Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes) and university-specific degrees. Private universities also recognize MBAs and many other degrees as well. In Spain, bachelor’s studies are held for four years, Master’s programs for a period of 1 – 2 years and there is the Doctoral-level programs or PhDs which is normally for a period of 3 to 5 years. There is also a high record of students applying for certain areas or field of study such as; Science, Law, Engineering, Languages, Management and Administration, and Humanities.

Top Institutions of Spain

Spain is known to be among the best and interesting places in Europe for international students to pursue a degree of their choice. There are about seventy-seven (77) universities in Spain, with majority of these institution establishing a connection between Spain and other countries. Spain is a popular study destination for many international students who want to experience its fascinating culture and way of life.

In Spain, the proportion of international students in tertiary education is roughly 13% of the total student population. The numbers have grown over the past several years, indicating a rise in interest in Spain as a place to study abroad. There are many reasons, including the top-notch higher education system, the wonderful weather, the magnificent outdoors, and even the opportunity for language acquisition. Every year, thousands of international students attend Spanish universities, adding to the country’s diversified environment and plenty of learning opportunities. The top universities in Spain are; 

University of Barcelona

The university of Barcelona is a public institution and was founded in the year 1450 and is located in the city of Barcelona. The university has six main campuses. The university is one of Spain’s biggest, prestigious and largest universities in Spain. The university provides students with high quality education in different field of study. The University of Barcelona has within it sixteen faculties and with a population of about 65,000 students. The university is quite affordable as the tuition fees are not expensive for students. There are also facilities made available for the students, this includes; research facilities, housing facilities, health facilities and sporting facilities. Also some of the subjects covered in the University of Barcelona are; Computer science, Art and humanities, Physical science, Business and economics, Law, Social science, Psychology, Education, Life science and Clinical, pre-clinical and health.

Pompeu Fabra University

The university in Spanish is “Universitat Pompeu Fabra” is a popular university, a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalan capital in Spain. It was founded in 1990 and commissioned by Catalan Parliament. The name of the university “POMPEU FABRA” was given to it for Pompeu Fabra, a linguist and an expert on the Catalan language. The university is known to have three campuses which are; CIUTADELLA, MAR and POBLENOU. The university is known for its highly competitive research involvement and provision also with quality education made available to students. The university also enrolls international students that apply to study abroad in any of its campuses.

Autonomous University of Barcelona

The university which in Spanish is “Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona”, is also known as UAB. It is a high ranked public university in Spain with different areas of studies for students to pursue degrees, that is both international and national students. The various courses made available can be taught within the four walls of a classroom or online. The Autonomous University of Barcelona has been able to successfully attract international students which make up about forty percent of the university’s student population. 

University of Navarra

The University of Navarra is a private university which is located in Pamplona, Spain. The university provided for varieties of courses with advanced teaching methods and research facilities. It also specialized in making available to its student’s world-class education with its different areas of expertise, so as to enable students graduate with the right knowledge and skill and to succeed in their different careers.  

Autonomous University of Madrid

The university was founded in the year 1968 by the government and the university is recognized internationally, a wonderful destination The Autonomous University of Madrid is regarded as one of Spain’s oldest and top educational institutions with over 31,000 students and numerous courses and programs for students to choose from. Also the institution has been able to enrol quite a number of international students for all degrees, that is; bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate degree.

Scholarships/Financial Aids/Bursaries 

Spain is an affordable country where international students to an extent do not feel financially pressured. Several opportunities are made available in Spain for students who want to study abroad. That is financial assistance or aids and scholarships are made available for students who want to build their education and broaden their horizon. Some of the scholarships made available to students are:

  1. Financial aid assistance provided by the Ministry of Education
  2. Erasmus Mundus Scholarship- for international students pursuing a Master or Doctorate program. 
  3. ALB Foundation MBA Scholarship- for African who wish to future their studies MBA studies abroad in Spain.
  4. Spanish Studies Abroad Merit-Based Scholarship
  5. The Fulbright Program
  6. International Studies Abroad (ISA) Diversity Scholarship (Check here for more scholarships for international students in Spain).
Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students
Study In Spain: The Best Guide For International Students

Student Visa Processing/Procedures

For EU and EEA nationals, a student visa is not needed to study abroad in Spain. However, a residence permits or Foreign Identity Card is required for such a person staying longer than 3 months. For international students who are non-EU students and wish to pursue their studies, training and research in Spain, a student visa is mandatory to go for such in Spain if considering making an application to any of Spain’ educational institutions. The student visas which international students that want to study abroad in Spain can apply are; The Schengen student visa, The short-term student visa and The long-term student visa. The Schengen student visa is for non EU/ EEA nationals who will be taking courses that are less than ninety days which is approximately three months.

The second type of visa which is the Short-term student visa and also known as the D type visa, is for international students who will be taking a course not more than 180 days, that is six months. The third type of visa, that is the Long-term student visa, is a student visa that international students can apply for if the course or study program they are to enroll for will take longer than six months. It is important that before a student visa is being applied for, such an international student must have gotten admission into a university in Spain. This is because the proof of admission is also one of the required documents to be submitted at the Spanish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country.

Some of the requirements are; passport, valid identification card, proof of medical insurance, letter of admission, proof of financial capacity, proof of fee payment, certificate of no criminal record, among others. In addition, the expiration of a student visa depends on duration of the international student’s course or program. It is advisable to make a renewal of a student visa within 60 days before its expiration.

Post Study Opportunities

Students studying abroad in Spain can make a request for a work permit from local authorities provided the student visa is still valid, if expired then such an international student cannot work while studying abroad. International students can only work in Spain for a maximum period of twenty hours per week. This basically means international students are to take up part-time jobs.

For international students who want to work in Spain having completed their education or studies abroad in Spain, there is a need to get a post study work visa or “job search visa” with certain requirements to be met such as; health insurance, proof of financial capacity and others.  The visa will only allow graduates to stay in the country for a period of 12 months while in search of a job. After securing a job, an application can them be made for a work permit. 

 There are also a number of post-study visa which international graduates can apply for which include:

  1. European Blue Card.
  2. Spouse or Family Reunification Visa.
  3. Permanent Residence. 
  4. Entrepreneur Visa.

Final Thoughts

Studying abroad in Spain is a good  option. There are several factors, including the excellent higher education system, the fantastic weather, the breathtaking scenery, and even the chance to learn a language. Numerous overseas students enrol in Spanish institutions every year, thus enhancing the country’s diverse atmosphere and abundance of educational options.

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